The turnover rate at the White House resembles a local McDonald’s more than a presidential administration, and that rate continues with yet another departure by a top official.
Make room for Don McGahn on Rachel Maddow’s wall of departures. pic.twitter.com/86je7pfuaK
— Shomeo (@SassBaller) October 18, 2018
White House counsel Don McGahn made his departure on Wednesday, effective immediately, after a tumultuous 17 months in his position. The embattled lawyer’s departure was long planned, although not so much by him.
The New York Times reports:
‘As White House counsel, Mr. McGahn took on a handful of often-conflicting roles: counselor to the president; protector of top law enforcement officials, including the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III; and witness in the investigation into whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice. He has told associates that he stopped Mr. Trump from firing Mr. Mueller and from forcing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to retake control of the Russia inquiry after he recused himself from oversight of it.’
— CNN (@CNN) October 18, 2018
McGahn spent months attempting to save the president from himself, spending frustrating amounts of time trying to convince Trump that testifying under oath in front of Special Counsel Robert Mueller on the investigation into the alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russian government operatives would end with Trump in “an orange jumpsuit.” It was also McGahn who the Trump administration realized back in August had been giving testimony to Mueller.
‘Mr. McGahn had little tolerance for Mr. Trump’s often emotional responses to the legal cloud hanging over his administration, referring to the president as “King Kong” — out of Mr. Trump’s earshot — because of his explosive anger. Mr. McGahn often tried to stop the president from taking steps that Mr. McGahn viewed as legally or politically problematic, such as firing the special counsel. The president blamed Mr. McGahn for the deputy attorney general’s appointment of Mr. Mueller in May 2017, saying Mr. McGahn had not done enough to control the Justice Department.
‘Mr. McGahn may have also caused more damage for Mr. Trump than any other White House official in the special counsel investigation. Mr. McGahn has spent at least 30 hours with Mr. Mueller’s investigators, laying out how Mr. Trump tried to interfere with or quash the inquiry, including by trying to fire Mr. Mueller himself in the summer of 2017.’
President Trump said veteran Washington lawyer Pat Cipollone would serve as his next White House counsel, succeeding Don McGahn in the post https://t.co/N80yBN1h9T
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) October 16, 2018
It was that testimony that appeared to seal his fate within the Trump White House. Although it’s not clear what details he has provided to Mueller, it seems 30 hours of testimony made the White House uncomfortable.
‘Mr. McGahn had long planned to leave the White House this fall. But in August, shortly after the extent of his witness testimony was revealed by The New York Times, the president surprised Mr. McGahn by announcing on Twitter that he would be leaving as White House counsel after Justice Kavanaugh was confirmed.’
NYT reports that Don McGahn is officially OUT as White House counsel. McGahn's departure was confirmed by two people close to him, according to NYT. https://t.co/SFvJLvtEVt
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 17, 2018